Castrol Power Bikers, the name, as understood(rather misunderstood) by the common man refers to Racing or stunting. But on the contrary it was about riding to any destination of one’s choice. Being one of the 9 bikers selected through the contest was a very good feeling. An excellent initiation by Castrol Biking to encourage those who are passionate about Biking, more so with touring. Slowly but steadily, moto-touring is gaining prominence for good. The
When you plan a big ride of considerable number of kilometers, a lot of things have to be planned and prepared to have a safe and incident free ride. The priority being the machine first and then the person himself. A routine check of cables, tires, engine oil, electrical or any other minor niggles which can prove costly midway through the ride were first attended.
The electricals given a thorough check
Air Filer Changed
Few electronics to accompany the ride .....
The luggage packed..... all set to go ......
Three routes kept flashing my mind time and again , The Leh circuit, Northeast and the West(including Rajastan and Gujrat). Was almost confirmed for Northeast, till the news of floods there were aired on Television. Access to most routes were denied in fear of being washed away. Then it was a contest between the West and Leh. Mom asks “why do you want to see a barren land??? go to Leh/Himachal instead”. Leh was anyways on the cards, sooner or later, so chose not so conventional West route. The main reason for choosing the latter was to set eyes on the pristine sand dunes of Jaisalmer and the White Desert of Rann of Kutch.
The day before the ride, I visit my aunt’s place and tell her that I was going to Rajastan the next morning. First question : “How many days does it take to go to Rajastan? “ My reply : “If there aren’t any delays , should reach there in close to three days“. She wish me a safe Journey and then came the million dollar question “What time is your train ???” My cousin and myself burst out laughing. Then clearly explained her the motto behind the ride, then with some gyan and a hot cup of coffee she wished me luck.
The travel diary looks something like this :
Day 1 : Bangalore-Satara
Day 2 : Satara-Malshej
Day 3 : Malshej-Hunai
Day 4 : Hunai-Udaipur
Day 5 : Around Udaipur
Day 6 : Udaipur-Jodhpur
Day 7 : Jodhpur-Jaisalmer
Day 8 : Around Jaisalmer and Dhanana
Day 9 : Dhanana-Tharad
Day 10: Tharad-Nadabet-Vadodara
Day 11: Vadodara-Mumbai
Day 12: Around Mumbai
Day 13: Mumbai-Ganapatipule
Day 14: Ganapatipule-Kumta
Day 15: Kumta-Bangalore.
Route : Bangalore-Tumkur-Chitradurga-Hubli-Belgaum-Kolhapur-Satara.
The alarm rings at 3.15 AM, the first sound which marked the beginning of a journey which would be my longest till date. Quickly finish the morning duties and was all set to be on the road by 4. Wished Mom and Dad goodbye and head towards Yeshwanthpur to connect to the ever boring NH4. First stop for the day was somewhere past Sira. Stopped at a so-called “Bakery” which still served the pre independence era buns and other bakery stuff, but thankfully the tea was freshly made.
The journey begins
A cup of tea, and a brief stop for some photos proceed towards Hubli/Dharwad for a long break for any early lunch. First mistake of the day: filled fuel at Haveri, which seemed a new and well maintained fuel station. Tanked up only to realize later that it was highly adultrated. The engine starts knocking like hell. Check the spark plugs , which were fine. Given no other option had to empty the tank to fill up some good quality fuel. Shorter distance, need to burn fuel, no other option than to open the throttle completely.
At a food place found this, Something that I hadn't seen , at least not in a restaurant
The Dry NH4 for sometime, Near Nippani
Thankfully it was was rainings post Dharwad, which brought down the temperature drastically. Some distance post Sankeshwar, a fully grown peacock flies across the Six lane highway and and lands on flat grass for its famous full flexed dance, which in rural India marks the arrival of Monsoons(or rather for whole different purpose :P). For a city dweller, its just an amazing sight u just can’t resist to watch.
At Tavandi(so-called Ghat), Ashok Leyland testing its Left Hand drive buses
Reach Satara by evening for some highway Vada-Pav, national snack for any time of the day in MH
Day 2 .......... will be up soon.